Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NJ 93941 5957
393941, 805957


John Rust facade, 1898, retained after 1929 rebuild, extended 1931, converted to ballroom 1959 and nightclub 1976. Well detailed symmetrical 4-storey, 7-bay, classically inspired lofty granite façade fronting shell of former theatre building. Pedimented centre bays with channelled pilasters at ground flanking broken semicircular pediment over door, fluted pilasters above flank blind oculi and blind arcade also with broken centre pediment and blind tympanum at 3rd floor capped by small ogeed tablet. Outer doors surmounted by broken triangular pediments with acanthus motifs below decoratively-astragalled oculi. Granite ashlar with band courses, cornices and blocking course. Square- segmental- and round-arched openings, stone transoms and mullions, hoodmoulds with label stops. Openings largely blocked.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: principal (N) elevation with slightly advanced centre bays with keystoned segmental-arched doorpiece, outer bays with square-headed doorpieces (that to right altered?) that to left with modern door below decorative ironwork fanlight, further doorway immediately to right retains similar fanlight. Bays 2 and 6 have bipartite windows above ground, that to 2nd floor round-arched; bays 1 and 7 have taller round-arched tripartite windows between 2nd and 3rd floors. S (Crown Terrace) elevation 2-storey, 6- bay broad curvilinear gable end with crowning semicircular-arched pediment and ball finial, and paired segmentally-arched entrances to outer bays, blind doorway opening adjacent to fanlit timber-panelled door.

Some fixed-pane plate glass windows. Grey slates, lead flashing, metal ventilation cowl to ridge. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: little original interior decorative scheme remains. Small amount of moulded plasterwork cornicing, Art Deco style staircase and ironwork spiral stair survives.

Statement of Special Interest

The former Palace Theatre has an imposing granite facade. Its massive principal elevation is of particular note, adding streetscape interest to this area of Aberdeen. Opened in 1898 as the Palace Theatre, it was built to replace the former People's Palace which suffered a disastrous fire on 20 September 1896. The new fireproofed and electrically lit theatre opened on 24 October 1898. It was designed by John Rust, who had previously worked for the city authorities, and cost some £15,000. The interior "hallway was lined with Japanese paper and glazed tiles with the name 'Palace' set into a mosaic floor" (Peter) and the auditorium had seating for 1,800 over two tiers.

During its early years, performers included the young Charlie Chaplin who played here in Fred Karno's comic troupe, Harry Lauder and Dr Walford Bodie. In 1904 young Liberal MP Winston Churchill addressed a political rally at the Palace. Films were introduced in 1911, when the lease was taken over by Fred Collins, who also ran the nearby Tivoli. The theatre closed for rebuilding in 1929 after being bought by Jack Poole, "emerging in 1931 with one large balcony in an undistinguished modern interior" (Peter). By 1936 it was part of the County Cinemas circuit and later belonged to Odeon Cinemas Ltd. The interior was converted to a Top Rank Ballroom in 1959, and has been used as a nightclub since 1976.

References and Notes updated as part of the Cinemas Thematic Study 2007-08. List description further updated as part of the Theatres Thematic Study 2010.



Michael Thomson, Silver Screen In The Silver City, a history of cinemas in Aberdeen, 1896-1987 (1988) p29, 46, 47, 136, 321. Bruce Peter Scotland's Splendid Theatres (1999), pp181-4. W A Brogden Aberdeen - An Illustrated Architectural Guide (1998). [accessed 12.11.07].

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

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Printed: 05/12/2023 06:29